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Take Shyamalan’s Name Off the Devil Trailer!

Take Shyamalan's Name Off the Devil Trailer!

Thompson on Hollywood

M. Night’s Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender was slammed by critics: it earned an abysmal 8% on the Tomatometer. No question that since Shyamalan’s strong breakout The Sixth Sense, followed by Unbreakable and Signs, his last features (The Village, Lady in the Water, and The Happening) are trending downward with both critics and more important, audiences. And movie sites have not hesitated to catalogue everything wrong with the director, and to offer constructive advice.

That, the singularly entitled director will not pay heed to, from New York Mag asking him about his negative reviews and Screen Rant’s examination of what went wrong to Cinematical calling the end of his directing career. For more detailed insight, read Michael Bamberger’s The Man Who Heard Voices: Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale, a truly chilling portrait of how Hollywood’s lax parenting creates monsters.

The just-released new poster and trailer for Devil are after the jump.

Thompson on Hollywood

That’s Shyamalan’s curse. He’s a gifted writer of original screenplays–which are often quite commercial–but he lives in Philadelphia, and he doesn’t listen to anyone, neither then-Disney exec Nina Jacobson, who tried to tell him what was wrong with Lady in the Water, nor his long-time UTA agent Jeremy Zimmer, who the director ditched.

The big reveal came in Hall H at Comic-Con when the trailer for Devil unspooled on the giant screen. Within a stuck skyscraper elevator, something starts biting and preying on the unfortunate folks trapped in that tiny space. The trailer played great–until the moment when Shyalamalan’s name appeared on the screen. (He wrote the original story on which Brian Nelson’s screenplay is based–the movie is directed by Quarantine‘s John Erick Dowdle.) The hall erupted in jeers and cat calls: in an instant, the crowd had turned against the movie. Shyamalan has become a negative. They’re burnt and angry and it’s going to be tough for Shyamalan to turn this sentiment around. Unfortunately, in Hollywood terms, The Last Airbender opened–although the Nickelodeon title played to a young audience for whom Shyamalan’s name meant nothing.

He’s going to have to do some serious work to redeem his name as a marquee brand. In the meantime, I’d advise distributor Universal to take Shyamalan’s name off that Devil trailer–if they want folks to show up on September 17.

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Mr. Shyamalan’s has given us great movies, i.e., Sixth Sense, Signs, etc., its true that his other films havent been the greatest, but com’on why is it so easy to criticize and not give chances. Obviously Mr. Shyamalan works very hard to bring us entertainment. Lighten up everyone.


The fact that this Devil movie will premier after Summer season and in mid-September already tells you how mediocre, at best, it will be.


I was in the audience when the DEVIL trailer played before SALT at the Loews Lincoln Square in New York and can attest there were more than a few very audible groans when Shymalan’s name appeared …


I couldn’t agree more. Watching it at the beginning of Inception, no matter what, people groaned when his name came up. Old, young, black, asian, it doesn’t matter. He has lost faith with 90% of his audience.


When the DEVIL trailer played with INCEPTION at the Ziegfeld, the packed house laughed when Shyamalan’s name appeared. A week later, the same trailer played with SALT at the Loew’s 19th St. East multiplex and no one reacted to Shyamalan’s name at all.

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